Mazanec stars as Admirals top Texas 4-3

Milwaukee Admirals hockey

AUSTIN, TX — Felix Girard scored the game-winning goal as the Milwaukee Admirals defeated the Texas Stars 4-3 Friday at the H-E-B Center at Cedar Park.

Girard’s goal closed a brilliant sequence for the Admirals which started on a left leg save by goalie Marek Mazanec. Texas forward Justin Dowling deked to his backhand and the goal horn sounded in the building but Mazanec kicked it away. Then, the Ads moved the puck the other direction and Girard’s shot from the right wing clanged off the post and in for his third tally of the year. Mike Liambas picked up the assist.

Mazanec stopped 17 shots in the third period and several were from point-blank range. He improved to 4-1-1 on the season. Milwaukee improved to 10-0-2-0 on the season when scoring three or more goals in a contest.

Milwaukee claimed an early lead via Pontus Aberg’s seventh goal of the season. The puck was bouncing around in front of Stars goalie Landon Bow and found its way to Aberg at the left post for the goal. The assists went to Adam Pardy and Justin Florek.

The Ads made it 2-0 just :57 later. Matt White drew a penalty as he stickhandled in the right corner of the Stars zone. As he fell, he slid the puck to Jonathan Diaby at the left point for a slapper that went into the net for his second career AHL goal at 4:43. Diaby has goals in back-to-back games.

The Stars got on the board when both teams were down a man. Remi Elie used a burst of speed to get past the Admirals defense and scored a 4-on-4 goal at 6:19 of the first period.

Texas tied the game with 3:00 remaining in the first stanza with a shorthanded goal by Justin Dowling. It was the third shorthanded goal Milwaukee allowed this season and the first the Ads have permitted on the road.

The Stars claimed the lead at 5:19 of the second period after killing a penalty. Brendan Ranford slapped a shot from the right circle past Mazanec for the go-ahead tally.

A power play goal by Admirals forward Reid Boucher tied the game at 13:44 of the second period. Boucher backhanded a rebound into the net for his first goal with Milwaukee. Harry Zolnierczyk and Trevor Murphy picked up the assists.

Texas hosts Milwaukee again Sat., Dec. 17. The Admirals return home Mon., Dec. 26 to host the Chicago Wolves at the UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena.